Don’t panic! The answer is to learn and use a very simple interview technique called bridging. Let me explain how it works.
Most politicians and media trained executives you see can keep media interviews centered around their key messages. They can seamlessly transition from tough questions back to to the territory they want cover. Although, it might appear to result from their natural charisma. This skill is often learnt.
Imagine a journalist asks you a question, which may be directed in a way to create conflict or controversy. Then instead of giving them what they want you are able to move away from their “hot topic” and communicate the message you want your audience to hear. Sounds ideal right?
“Bridging” involves learning a variety of key phrases that you can use to answer and take control of an interview. These phrases should be easy to learn and help buy you time to think of a way to transition back to your communications strategy.
Our highly experienced team of media trainers at Adoni Media hear all the time about how our executive clients are used to being in control in the corporate world, but often fear the media.
It’s super important to be in control of media interviews and not be lead by journalists. This is what we stress in our media training sessions across Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, and rural and regional Australia.
Interviewees are often too eager to please the journalist and be “liked” by the public. As a result they can then be easily led into giving answers they may later regret.
“Bridging” is a critical interview technique to help you respond when the journalist takes an interview off-topic.
This technique is even more valuable when it comes to crisis management and dealing with the media. Of course, there are plenty of other interview techniques and camera ready skills that when combined with “bridging” makes for a confident, accomplished commentator and spokesperson.